Uber is STILL Super (and so is Lyft)!

In this Jan. 14, 2016, photo, a driver waits to pick up passengers at an Uber and Lyft pick up area at the Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas. The advent of Uber and Lyft in Nevada last fall has thrown the powerful Las Vegas taxi industry and its regulators into upheaval, as the taxi industry’s $3-per-ride credit card processing fee and lack of an online review system look suddenly out of date.(AP Photo/John Locher)


Yep, that’s right, I’m still using them, and still loving the services. There have been a few changes since my previous posts. Uber has since added a “tip” feature, to match Lyft’s. They both also now have a “multiple-stop” feature, so that now you don’t have to just arrange a ride from Here to There, you can arrange to make at least 2 stops. So, like, say I want to go to work, but need to stop at an ATM on the way there, I can add that into my original pickup. And also now both services give you the exact price for your ride upfront, no more “estimates.”

I still have friends who criticize them for various reasons, and I know there have been some media controversies, but the bottom line for me is that they work. A cheap, reliable, and easy to use way to travel. I wouldn’t have been able to do things like randomly meet up with Krista Allen last December, if it weren’t for Uber. So I will remain a user for as long as necessary.

That’s not to say that I haven’t had my share of less-than-stellar drivers. Just last Thursday night I got a Lyft driver who was an old man. And he was two-types of drivers that are annoying, He was slow and a talker.

The Talkers are the drivers who keep trying to engage you in a conversation even when you clearly aren’t interested. Sometimes I do end up talking to the drivers, having friendly and interesting conversations, but other times I’m just not in the mod. I just want to sit in the back (I usually always sit in the backseat) and rest, or check my phone or read books on my kindle. I’m always polite, and most of the time if a driver asks you a few question and you just give short or one-word answers, they get the hint and drop it. But some don’t, and this old man was one of the latter. He kept asking me things like where I work, how long I’ve lived in the city, etc. Just wouldn’t stop.

And, as I said, he was also Slow Driver. They’re particularly annoying because by slow, I mean they’re usually going the exact speed-limit, or just under it, even when everyone else is zipping past them. So that’s really not something that you can hold against them, right? But when you’re in a hurry to get somewhere, it really sucks. Although in this particular case I guess I shouldn’t complain, as this driver looked old enough that he was liable to drop dead at any second, so I guess I should want him driving as a slow as possible for safety concerns.

And I’ve had some unobjectively BAD drivers. I’m talking the speeders who make the sudden stops, the ones who almost hit or get hit by other cars, who make wrong turns and don’t follow directions. Thankfully those are the minority, or perhaps I just don’t encounter as many since the vast majority of my Uber/Lyft rides are just short trips going back and forth from my house to my mother’s house to get my car.

Then there’s the drivers who drive well, but have other problems, like blasting their music really loud, and I have to ask them to turn it down (which I shouldn’t have to do). Or the ones who play really offensive music. I get these drivers who play profranity-laced rap music, and that also just seems like the kind of thing you should know NOT to do when performing this job. Also at least twice I’ve had situations where a driver has picked me up and when they see the destination they say they’ll need to stop to get gas first.

That really pisses me off. YOU, as the driver, should be keeping an eye on your gas tank. When it starts getting low, you stop to fill it up before taking on another driver. Instead they just waste my time waiting for them, when I could have gotten another driver with a full tank, and been on my way to my destination.

But let me tell you about one particularly ODD driver I once got. I don’t remember if it was Uber or Lyft, but it was a morning ride to go get my car. And this driver, a Black man that I’d guess was in his early 20’s, was on a speaker phone, talking to some woman that he’d recently met and was trying to hook up with. And he didn’t get off the phone or even pause when I got in, or when I got out at the end of the ride. I remember when he first stopped and I got in the back seat I heard him say something that I didn’t quite catch. So, thinking he was talking to me, I said “What?” But then I heard the woman’s voice via the speaker, and it was clear that that was who he was talking to. And then the driver just started driving, without even acknowledging me, and carried on with his conversation.

So for the entire 15 minute ride, I had to sit there and listen to the two of them flirting with each other. That was just…weird. Although I guess I should at least be grateful that he was using a speaker phone, instead of a regular phone, so he could keep both hands on the wheel while driving. But, c’mon brother, pick up chicks on your own time.

Other than those occasional hiccups, I’m still a happy customer.

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